NEW date scheduled for postponed Edo State governorship election by Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC may have knocked off the coronation of the New Oba of Benin which has earlier been scheduled for 26th of September. The Commission had kowtowed to security reports and postponed the poll to September 28, 2016. This action according to observers is considered a slight on the tradition of Benin Kingdom. Although the coronation may have been shifted for a future date around October, the choice of the date by INEC is seen as total disrespect to what the people hold dear and sacred. According to a traditional personality who spoke on condition of anonymity, “Edo State is a highly traditional State. Governor Adams Oshiomhole knows it and INEC should have taken into consideration that the coronation of the new Oba of Benin had been scheduled for 26th of September. So, choosing two days interval between coronation of our new Oba and the governorship election is in the mind of many is sheer mischief. We hold our things so dear and sacred each time it involves palace affairs. It’s like an effrontery to what is dear and sacred to us.” Many are also blaming Oshiomhole’s ruling All Progressives Congress, APC for instigating the security scare that led to the polls postponement “to enable him and his party right certain wrongs they perceive as inimical to their envisaged victory at the poll,” retorted another Bini chief who added that as the chief security officer of the state, “Oshiomhole knows that there was no such scare to warrant the postponement.” According to news website, leadingreporters.com “the norm before the INEC under Prof. MahmoodYakubu was that elections were mostly held and concluded on Saturdays. In some rare occasions, counting may proceed to Sunday, especially in vulnerable polling votes. Elections were usually concluded, although results may not be announced immediately. “While INEC chairman has consistently heaped every blame of violence on the desperate politicians who want to win at all costs, INEC unpreparedness and inertia have in some good cases contributed to the distrusts that lead to these violence. A situation where INEC does not take earlier inventory of all the polling stations in a bid to ensuring that electoral materials arrive the booths on time should not be blamed on the politicians. “INEC passiveness has contributed perhaps more than any other factor to the inconclusiveness of elections in Nigeria. “When elections are declared inconclusive by INEC, the human costs in form of violence that claim lives and the material costs in form of new expenses to be incurred are enough reasons why INEC should endeavour to conclude elections as scheduled.”
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